All Lies, says Krishna-By J. Rajasekharan Nair
Book Review

All Lies, says Krishna-By J. Rajasekharan Nair

Revathy Menon

Krishna has remained a favourite figure with Indian writers. Innumerable tales have been woven around him and his adventures. So many books have been written on this fascinating and inexhaustible treasure house named-Krishna. One more to the list is ‘All Lies, says Krishna’ written by J. Rajasekharan Nair. The book differs from the rest, for here the narrator is Krishna who tells the tale of the Mahabharata to his ladylove, Radha.

One is familiar with the story of how Krishna narrated the Bhagvad Gita to Arjun as he hesitated to go to war with his cousins. But here, Krishna is the narrator of the war, an interpretation hitherto unheard of, the angle we have never perhaps thought of. Nair’s fiction is well researched and convincing in its unfolding as it follows the inner pains and tortures of its characters.

The book has a totally different narrative of the various figures of the epic which shows up their failings and breathes human life into them. Layers of heroism which showed them as larger than life are stripped away and they stand exposed. Draupadi’s curse is the hub around which the story is held together. She and her brother seek to take revenge on Drona and Arjuna. Yet another twist comes with the detail that Draupadi had fallen in love with Krishna. These and many more spring surprises throughout the story.

Traditional Hindus may not appreciate the twists and turns of the story. Many may question the wisdom of coming out with such a tale where the epic and revered characters are delt with in such a way, especially when the atmosphere is surcharged these days. Let us not forget however, that this is a work of fiction and the writer has used the epic only as a starting board and the rest that follows is the writer’s artistic license fired by his imagination and passion.

The book’s narrative style is lucid and impresses as it moves at a quick pace. Nair’s felicity with words is admirable as is his story telling skills. His interpretation of the ancient epic is a bold effort.

It is recommended reading only for the open minded.

Published by: Fingerprint Publishing